Czech Metal outfit Bohemyst, formerly known as Avenger for twenty-five years, return with their first slice of Blackened Metal, Čerň A Smrt. Under this new moniker, the name may have changed, but the high quality of their work remains.
Bohemyst – Čerň A Smrt (Petrichor)
Release Date: 13 August 2021
Words: Jools Green
Bohemyst has certainly poured all their collective experiences into these ten tracks, manifesting as a forty-six-minute, hugely atmospheric offering. It’s an impressive beginning of a new chapter for both the band and Czech Metal.
The album opens on the bleak, unnerving but atmospheric Intro. A meld of eerie noise and equally eerie symphonics, it is the perfect scene-setter for the title track Čerň A Smrt, which also makes a statement on arrival. It is delivered as a very precise mid-pace crush, with subtle symphonics and a searing scream, followed by very blackened acerbic vocals. The pace elevates, becoming darker and more intense, while the leadwork, in contrast, is very laid back. Altogether an utterly enthralling listen.
The next track, Krvehlas, opens with a meld of stark orchestration and dramatic riffs evolving into Blackened Death that twists and writhes with a dramatic, slightly insane quality, particularly the wonderfully deranged leadwork. There is also an excellent vocal range; one minute, death growls the next acidic, blackened screams, altogether, utterly engaging.
Na Umrlčích Prknech is slower but forges forward with a dark chugging deliberation, superbly phrased both musically and vocally, delivering maximum impact. Paní Lesa is an engaging chunk of Blackened Death that also has a slightly groovy, melodic undercurrent as well as a wildly convoluted crazy side, which sits well with the wildly fluctuating tempo. This track fills you with jaw-dropping surprise.
Kosti is powerful and dramatic with an eerie, hugely addictive keyboard element to open, which returns later in the track, turning darker and more sinister as it progresses, with an ever-present chugging drive pushing it forward. A stunning listen, possibly my favourite track.
In contrast, Co Nelze Zapomenout arrives like a blackened tornado, ripping through with sharp, intense riffing, acerbic vocals, and an unrelenting drive, combining into something that is utterly gorgeous to the ear. With Nekromantika, the dramatically deranged piano work adds a theatrical air to a crushingly slow, heavy and brutal piece with more theatrical drama coming from the choral element.
Do Chřtánu Smrti sees a return to a Blackened Death sound, intensely unrelenting, complexly convoluted and utterly engaging. The final piece, Zvrácenosti Zvědavosti, is a brutal chugging beast that incorporates subtle elements of their Southern Bohemian heritage with the addition of Czech folk music.
So are Bohemyst the new heirs to the throne of Czech Metal, now that Master’s Hammer have abdicated? They certainly have the pedigree, and after listening to Čerň A Smrt, I would say it’s quite likely.
It’s such a hugely varied, complex, well thought out and delivered album.
I am looking forward to hearing what future offerings will bring. Meanwhile, they have certainly filled a void with this rather excellent release, which will appeal to fans of Master’s Hammer, Avenger, Marduk and Morbid Angel.
Čerň A Smrt is available as LP in 180 grams audiophile vinyl with a download card and CD as a deluxe edition with a slipcase or digital download.